Why We Chose It
BY CAITLIN HORROCKS, FICTION EDITOR
Rolf Yngve’s “A Prerogative”
I try not to make sweeping pronouncements about what does and doesn’t work in short stories, because I’ll always turn out to be wrong. But I’ve got some observations. I once mentioned to a room of writers that I felt the “failure rate” among stories from six to ten double-spaced pages, or approximately 1,750–3,000 words in length, was higher than in stories above or below that word count. I panicked to immediately hear a roomful of pens scratch on a roomful of notebooks; I imagined them all writing “1,750–3,000 words” and putting a big diagonal NO slash across it. Read the rest of “Why We Chose It.” “A Prerogative,” by Rolf Yngve, appears in the Mar/Apr 2015 Kenyon Review.
Will You Be at AWP 2015 in Minneapolis? Come Visit Us at Booth #915
The Poetics of Science
How does science inspire the literary imagination? Can science writing be literary? The Kenyon Review
is seeking poetry, fiction, essays, and drama that respond to issues in science, ecology, or the environment for a special issue to be published in September 2016. Feeling inspired? KR
is now accepting submissions
for this special issue. Read more about the call for submissions here.
…Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?
Is that a poem in your pocket? For Kenyon denizens, the answer will be a resounding “YES!” on April 30, when the campus blossoms into verse to celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day
. In our time-honored tradition, KR
student associates will hang poems all around campus for anyone to take and recite out loud to people they meet throughout the day. The day’s events will culminate with a reading by three poets included in the May/June special issue of KR
at 4:10 pm in Brandi Recital Hall. Please join us! Read more about Poem in Your Pocket Day at Kenyon.
Twice Blessed? Consider KR’s Art of Text Workshop
Are you drawn in similar measure to the verbal and the visual? If you’re a writer curious to work in more genres, or an artist wishing to deepen your engagement with text, KR
’s Art of Text Workshop
blends techniques of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, visual arts, and the art of the book to generate new creative content and form. No particular background is required, just an openness to generating new work and taking risks with text and materiality. Past participants have held MFA’s in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, book arts, digital arts, theater, and have worked in fields from graphic design to library science to literature, and more. The workshop is held in Kenyon’s gorgeous new studio art building, and all materials are provided. Join us for this innovative adventure, June 27–July 3. Register soon! Enrollment is limited.
From a 2014 participant: “I loved the attitude of play, of productive failure and corrective, creative embellishment—I’m learning to think about my text as material not only in forming it but also in revising and deforming it. Conferences were really helpful; I loved having open studio time; the space of the workshop was so friendly and warm and engaging that many of us stayed in the studio through meals, late into the night. This is perhaps the most productive creative environment I’ve ever encountered.”
Read more about the Art of Text Workshop.
Playwrights: An Intensive Workshop for You at the Kenyon Institute, June 7-13
Our colleagues at the Kenyon Institute
invite you to the Kenyon Playwrights Conference
, a remarkable international playwriting workshop presented with their partners Playwrights Horizons, La Jolla Playhouse, and London’s Paines Plough. You’ll write every day guided by top literary managers, and watch commissioned work
take shape by OBIE-winner Kirsten Greenidge, Rude Mechanicals founder Kirk Lynn, and rising star British playwright Tom Wells. Master classes, one-on-one tutorials, and readings of your work round out the week. Read more about the conference here
; there’s still time to register here
before the May 15 deadline.
New in KR Podcasts
Environmental writing, archiving Appalachia, and adapting poetry for the stage come under discussion in April’s podcast, featuring a conversation between consulting editor Andrew Grace
and poet Maurice Manning
, a professor of English and writer-in-residence at Transylvania University. Not to be missed! Download the podcast.
The Quiet Thing
BY CHE YEUN
With one semester left in college, I maxed out all of my credit cards. I applied for more, but none of the remaining banks took me. I would have signed up for a private loan, except I’d already made that mistake once. I was stuck with forty percent interest, which was the reason for this mess in the first place.
We sell girls like you, the collections agent liked to remind me. We pull gold fillings out of girls like you. We cut toes. We piss on girls like you.
Finish reading this story on KROnline.
Broken-off Twig Budding Out in the Path
BY JANE HIRSHFIELD
From The Kenyon Review
, New Series, Spring, 1997, Vol. XIX, No. 2
Only the slightest thaw,
and something plops
in the water that clears.
It may be nothing that swims,
nothing that hops, or hopes.
Edge-ice falling in.
Continue reading this poem.
Speaking with Objects in Robert Frost, Richard Pryor, and Charles Baxter
BY ISABEL GALBRAITH
March 20, 2015
In his fantastic book on the craft of fiction, Burning Down the House, Charles Baxter examines how some authors make animate and inanimate objects (like clouds and houses) come to life, gaze back at one, and reveal their inner lives. In Robert Frost’s beautiful poem “After Apple Picking,” a harvester spends all day getting caught up in the natural world’s own dramas. Baxter also claims that in moments of “extreme emotion . . . objects really begin to speak.” Read the full blog post.
A Micro-Conversation with Daniel Torday
Daniel Torday’s first novel, The Last Flight of Poxl West
, has recently been published by St. Martin’s Press. Torday is a book review editor of KR
and was interviewed by Hilary Plum, also a book review editor of KR
Hilary Plum: What drew you to this subject and what it was like to do the extensive research the novel must have required?
Daniel Torday: This is a novel that tries to ask some tough and wily questions about storytelling, so I should probably take the starting position that ultimately all of what’s in there is the product, purely, of my imagination. I’m not a historian, and this is a big fat fiction, this book. . . . That said, the spark for The Last Flight of Poxl West did come after a week I spent with my grandmother’s first cousin, Honza, who did grow up north of Prague, and after fleeing to Rotterdam just before the war started, moved to London, where he trained to fly for the RAF. . . . But in the next eight years of writing and research, I came to find an almost counter-history of a small number of Eastern European Jews who’d come to the UK before and during the war, and who participated in the war effort.
Read the rest of the interview.